What a Way to Go

Julia Forster

RRP: £7.99

5 January 2017

Published by Atlantic Books

ISBN: 9781782397540

RRP: £6.99

7 January 2016

Published by Atlantic Books

ISBN: 9781782397533

1988. 12-year-old Harper Richardson’s parents are divorced. Her mum got custody of her, the Mini, and five hundred tins of baked beans. Her dad got a mouldering cottage in a Midlands backwater village and default membership of the Lone Rangers single parents’ club. Harper got questionable dress sense, a zest for life, two gerbils, and her Chambers dictionary, and the responsibility of fixing her parents’ broken hearts…

Set against a backdrop of high hairdos and higher interest rates, pop music and puberty, divorce and death, What a Way to Go is a warm, wise and witty tale of one girl tackling the business of growing up while those around her try not to fall apart.


What a fabulous novel! So fresh, touching, truthful and laugh-out-loud funny. I absolutely loved it.Deborah Moggach

I hugely, entirely enjoyed this book. What a Way to Go is richly transporting - and so funny, and so moving. Julia Forster has all the marks of a prize-winning novelist; you know it from the first pages.Horatio Clare

A brilliant debut. Sharp, sweet, bristling with wit and full of hilarious, wildly imaginative observations. In Harper Julia Forster has created a bold and distinctive 12 year old voice that manages to be nostalgic and authentic at the same time.Emma Jane Unsworth, author of 'Animals'

I thoroughly enjoyed it from start to finish. Harper is such a lovable, funny character, and seeing the the 1980s through her eyes is both moving and revealing. I loved the 'mis-en-scene' of Blackbrake, the whole small town atmosphere where the skies are as grey as her 'school uniform', and I thought the monstrously selfish but somehow sympathetic Mum is a great comic creation. Above all, I thought Harper's tone was perfectly judged, that mix of knowingness, naivete, and humour was great. It deserves to do really well. I will put a 5 star review on Amazon!Francis Gilbert

I haven't enjoyed a book this much in ages. It's wonderful... Harper [is] an amazing protagonist - all the things I wanted to be at that age but probably never was - bright, funny, inquisitive, happy in her own skin.Megan Bradbury, author of 'Everyone Is Watching'

Oh, this one is good, so very good. Heart-breaking, humorous and thought provoking. Thank you Julia Foster for a brilliant debut novel.Phylippa Smithson for

Poignant, sometimes laugh-out-loud funny and a fabulous portrait of the time.
Woman & Home

As a first novel it has promise, with some sensitive writing and funny lines.
The Scotsman

This is a bittersweet tale of one girl just at the cusp of becoming a young woman with a burgeoning mind of her own, and a blossoming sense of life's possibilities.
The Western Mail

What a Way to Go is very funny and warm, sometimes sad, always beautifully written and just a ... joy [to read].Hayley Long, blogger and author, twice nominated for the Costa Award

What A Way To Go is funny and sharp and it's a treat to hang out with Harper as she and her Chambers dictionary flit between her Midlands parental homes.
Emerald Street

What a joy to read... Julia Forster's assured debut novel marks the start of a brilliant writing career.
Reader's Digest

I loved this novel. It's by turns incredibly poignant and very funny. A touching coming of age tale that completely hits its mark.Kate Hamer

This amusing coming-of-age novel, narrated by 12-year old Harper Richardson, is full of humour, often of the black variety... this gauche yet likable character emerges chrysalis-like, a bit more armoured for the next stage of her young life.
Irish Examiner

A glowing debut
Daily Mail